The most directly democratic branch of government does not make decisions by vote. It does not negotiate for one geographic constituency. In its pure form, the Executive Branch is perhaps “the most accessible, politically accountable force in government at the local, state, and national levels” because it vests the law’s execution in the administration of one man. The President rises or falls by the success of his policies. The same mechanisms that ensure this accountability, however, also create an equal and opposite fear of tyrannical opacity. The Executive’s built-in discretion ultimately leads to a tension between public trust and distrust of the Branch.

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